Six Black Scholars Taking on New Assignments in Higher Education

Jeffrey Q. McCune, Jr., associate professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies and of African and African American studies at Washington University in St. Louis, has been named director of the Frederick Douglass Institute in the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Rochester. He will begin his new job in June 2021.

Dr. McCune earned a master’s degree in communications studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He hold a Ph.D. in performance studies, with a focus on African American and gender studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Hakeem Tijani, a professor of African history, was given the added duties of executive director of Global Partnerships-Africa at Morgan State University in Baltimore. He was a professor of history and director of Research, Grants and Linkages at Adeleke University in Nigeria.

Dr. Tijani is a graduate of Lagos State University in Nigeria. He holds master’s degrees from the University of Lagos and the University of London. Dr. Tijani earned his Ph.D. at the University of South Africa.

LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant was promoted to professor of  Africana studies at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She is the author of Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory Among Gullah/Geechee Women (Duke University Press, 2014).

Dr. Manigault-Bryant, who joined the Williams College faculty in 2011, is a graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She holds a master of divinity degree and a Ph.D. from Emory University in Atlanta.

Alexis Smith Washington, an associate professor of management at the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, was given the added duties of senior inclusion officer at the business school. She joined the faculty at Oklahoma State in 2012.

Dr. Smith Washington is a graduate of Rice University in Houston Texas, where she majored in psychology. She holds a PhD. in organizational behavior from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Bryan Washington was named the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence for Racial Justice at Rice University in Houston, Texas. During the two-year appointment, Washington will also hold the title of George Guion Williams Writer-in-Residence and teach courses in creative writing. He has won several awards for his debut book, Lot (Riverhead Books, 2019).

Washington holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Houston and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of New Orleans.

Tonya Perry, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was appointed director of the Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color program of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Dr. Perry earned her bachelor’s degree in English education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a master’s degree in English education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a doctorate in educational leadership with a concentration in English and secondary curriculum from the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


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